Arizona Unicorn Mantis Facts
- The presence of a horn-like cone in the middle of its forehead ranks as the most noteworthy fact about the Arizona Unicorn Mantis.
- It also quite understandably gave rise to the extremely attention-grabbing common name of the insect.
- This species also possesses a very limited primary range. While scattered populations appear in other portions of its native country, the vast majority live in only one region.
- Though its primary zone of habitation remains quite small, its numbers appear to be stable, at least for the moment.
- As a result, the IUCN does not currently list this species on its Red List.
Arizona Unicorn Mantis Physical Description
As a rather moderate sized species, the fascinating Arizona Unicorn Mantis attains an average length of 3.2 in (7 cm).
Sexual dimorphism remains rather minimal in this species, with the males being slightly slimmer and having longer abdomens.
Firstly, the insect typically displays a dark brown coloring, with stripes of either light brown or black.
In addition, adults usually have bright green wings, and body shapes remarkably similar to that of a stick insect.
Along with being unusual, this provides them with excellent camouflage.
Yet the most distinctive feature of the Arizona Unicorn Mantis remains the small horn on its head, though this feature actually consists of two small cones.
Species: P. arizonae
Arizona Unicorn Mantis Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
While it does occur in small numbers in other regions, the Arizona Unicorn Mantis primarily inhabits the state of Arizona, in the United States.
The creature prefers wooded areas, such as forests and parks, since this maximizes the effectiveness of its camouflage.
Also, it preys on a wide variety of insects, including crickets, moths, butterflies, and flies.
Yet its preferred prey consists of various types of fly. Its strike occurs so rapidly that individuals can catch a fly right out of the air.
Unlike many other species of mantis, the Arizona Unicorn Mantis often lives in loose group associations. Also, after hatching, the young of this species mature rapidly.
The species does practice sexual cannibalism, like many mantises, but among this species, the practice appears limited.